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Diesel vs. Gasoline

AirwolfAirwolf Posts: 142
I started this conference to consolidate numerous
conference postings related to engine choice and
the pros and cons.

Which is better a Cummins Turbo Diesel or V10 Gas
Engine for daily driving, and highway, with about
30,000 miles a year (50% highway)? This would be
on a 2500 Ram QC LB, or other 3/4 ton, like the new



  • kirkpamakirkpama Posts: 64
    The deciding factor for me was that my current F250 is 8 years old and I have only put 56,000 miles on it. To offset the cost of the diesel engine, in my area, you would have to drive 80,000 miles to pay for the diesel, based on the extra gas mileage of the diesel. I don't tow a big trailer and don't come close to the 80,000 mile point. So, I went with the V-10.
  • pete38pete38 Posts: 52
    Airwolf, is that taking in account the money you get back in the resale of the diesel engine since I think you should get more in a resale of a diesel?
  • kirkpamakirkpama Posts: 64
    I used 12 mpg for the V-10, 19 mpg for the diesel, and $1.10/gal for gas in my area. The difference at 80,000 miles is $2700 and this leaves $1000 for trade in on the diesel. The internet sites only allow $300 to $400 for the diesel on used trucks. I think $1000 would be closer to the actual value than $400. I priced the new diesel at $3700. The V-10 cost $285. My commute to work is only 2.5 miles each way. That is barely enough to warm up the gas engine. Some people like the sound of the diesel, but I prefer the quieter gas engine. My 2 year old is scared to death when a diesel goes by close to us.
  • richflynnrichflynn Posts: 147
    I've got a '92 F-250 with the 7.3 L Diesel, non-turbo. It has 127K miles on it. I've averaged over 17 MPG for ALL of those miles. Last week I went to Las Vegas from LA, 80 MPH most of the way. Mileage was over 18 MPG. Mileage will drop to a high 15 or low 16 if I push it to 95-97 MPH. The d*&^ governor keeps me to a max of 97.5. With fuel and myself the truck weighs 6730 LBS.
  • kirkpamakirkpama Posts: 64
    I'm not knocking the diesel, it is a great engine. My brother in law and his brother both have F350 diesel crew cabs. It may be a better choice for you since you will be driving 30K a year and if you pull a trailer, it would be a better choice. In my case, the V-10 is the better choice. Good luck with the decision!
  • dkgdkg Posts: 11

    Where did you find a V-10 option for $285 v $3700 for the diesel? When I started looking the difference was between $2900 and $3000 for the diesel.


    I chose the diesel after talking to several people who work with dynamos and the diesel was the hands down choice from all of them. Still, the diesel will take some getting used to, but we have a boat that we tow over several mountain passes and the big block just will not pull the same as the oil burner.

    In the local area (Colorado) the resale on the diesel is still worth the initial investment. But be sure you are getting what meets your needs, not what everyone else is getting.

    Hope this helps.

  • RoclesRocles Posts: 985
    What about availability of diesel? Where I live, alot of stations don't have it. Another question about diesels is they still stink and are very loud. Obviously they are reliable but what are the numbers? I'm curious also----
  • barbellbarbell Posts: 15
    If you are buying a vehicle for everyday to work and back, etc, you don't want a diesel. I have a car for that : a Honda Accord with over 300K with the original exhaust system. I am buying a Dodge 3/4 ton, 4x4 longbed, qcab to pull my travel trailer where ever I want to take it. I may use it occasionally on long trips w/o the trailer, but most of the time, it will be sitting in my driveway waiting for another trip.
  • barbellbarbell Posts: 15
    I forgot to say that the new truck will be a diesel; that is the subject of this board. With the size of the fuel tanks on current trucks, you should have no trouble making it from one major truck stop to another. In fact, that is the place to buy diesel. Don't buy it in an out of the way station unless you are really looking for trouble.
  • kirkpamakirkpama Posts: 64

    Have you tried looking at Kelly Blue Book's site or Edmunds site for the prices? The invoice price for the V-10 is $285 and the diesel is $3778. This is for the Ford 1999 trucks. I don't know if Ford has ever sold the diesel for as little as $2900. I didn't check the prices of the Dodge engines. I know the Ford's because I ordered a 1999 F250 with the V-10.
  • KCRam@EdmundsKCRam@Edmunds Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,497
    To back up what barbell said in post #9, not only do you get better service at truck stops (or stations that at least cater to trucks by having extra diesel pumps), they cost less as well. They make their money on volume sales - 200 gallons in a Kenworth adds up profitwise. Several of the stations here actually sell diesel only overnight, and gasoline just between 6 am and 10 pm. I usually pay less than regular unleaded for diesel here in north New Jersey.

    KCRam - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Moderator

  • richflynnrichflynn Posts: 147
    Permit me a bit of sarcasm here....

    If you're anything like the rest of us; your Honda will sit in the driveway with (eventually) flat tires while your diesel Ram will be turing over 600K miles.
  • dkgdkg Posts: 11

    Oops, I was only referring to the Dodge Prices. The $2900 was the difference from the Dodge V-10 to the Cummins Diesel.

  • pete38pete38 Posts: 52
    I went to Kelly Blue Book on the web and clicked on the following for the retail price
    1996 Dodge Ram 3/4 Club cab 8' bed
    60,000 miles, manual trans, SLT package, Power Windows, locks steering, Tilt Wheel, Cruise, AM/FM cassette, leather, sliding rear window and Four Wheel Drive.
    I kept all the above factors consistent but changed the engine. Prices are as follows
    V8 Gas 21,230
    v10 Gas 21,365
    diesel 23,730
    Thats 2,365 more for the diesel than the v10 if my calculations are correct. So I believe much of the intial investment for the diesel could be recouped if the Kelly Blue Book prices are realistic. Now I do realize that 60000 is a lot of miles for a truck that new for a lot of people and I don't know why I picked that milage I just did. I don't know if the price difference between the engines changes as the milage goes one way or the other or not.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113

    Out of curiousity, I ran a similar test after reading your post, except I used a 95 Dodge and ran the mileage at 120,000 and 150,000. Since the diesel engines last longer without overhauls, I figured it would be reflected in the values at the higher mileage. Twas not the case. At market value, the diesel had $2,165 over the V-10. At trade-in value, the difference was $1,575. My guess is that there really is a larger difference in what someone might be willing to pay for a high mileage vehicle with those two engines. I mean, I wouldn't be expecting to get too much for a gas engine vehicle with 150,000 miles on it.
  • pete38pete38 Posts: 52
    That makes sense to me too, I was running some numbers on what I expect to do with the truck. I'm glad it came out that way since my diesel should be here anyday. I was more than a little concerned about only getting 400 for the diesel, that didn't seem right. I thought I had checked that before I purchased but couldn't remember for sure, so now I have a little piece of mind about that again. I don't think I would be interested in a gas engine with 150,000 on it but I've heard stories of those running for a long time too, I would just be more wary of the gas with high milage compared to a diesel. Of course in this stage of my life, used vehicles are something I wouldn't consider unless it was someone I knew and trusted that had driven the vechicle.
  • AirwolfAirwolf Posts: 142
    Wow! A lot of traffic over the past few days here and I must say that I hope it keeps up! You all have a lot of great information... to clear a few things up:
    1) I must say that I usually put 30,000 or so miles a year on my vehicles, although that will probably decrease over the next few years. Even though the initial cost of the diesel is +$3,000 more, the tradein cost more than makes up for it in my opinion, considering the use you'll get.
    I hope that this truck will last me for years, and I think that the reliability of a well-maintained diesel is worth the additional cost.
    2) My needs are balanced with what is the best for money. True, I will use it mainly for onroad, to and from work, driving, but when I really need it offroad or pulling a boat, I'd like to know that I'm not straining the engine. So I think that diesel would still be better, right?
    3) Fuel - the nearest large truck stop is 30 miles north of here, so everytime I go to the airport, I could fill up, so that won't be a problem. But you all are right, truck stops are the way to go. Not only is fuel cheaper, it's fresher.

    Thanks all.
  • pete38pete38 Posts: 52
    Airwolf, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said well maintained diesel. I plan to go by the book for mine, I've heard diesel repairs are expensive, so I'm going to pay attention to the details of maintenance down to the last letter. I don't know about anybody else but I live in a town of approx. 50,000 and we have a couple of stations in town that service diesel fleet vehicles. Do you think the diesel from those staitions would be "safe". To me it would almost have to be because if it was bad fuel the fleet they service would all have the same fuel problem and they would know were they got the diesel from. Any other thoughts on this?
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    If the diesel in your area is really bad and a truck stop is too far away to visit frequently, there is always the option of putting an extra fuel tank in the bed. My dad put one in his long bed truck. He can go over 1,000 miles between fillups with a fifth wheel in tow. I think he can hold a total of 100 gallons. If you have nothing in tow, a tank of gas that size will get you a long way down the highway.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    I've been reading these responses and felt like saying something. Diesels are great engines, and they do get better mileage than gas, and they are built tougher because the internal forces on the engine is much greater than that of gasoline. But I don't think you can really justify buying a diesel if you are just driving back and forth to work. Unless you are pulling a trailer for 30-40% of you driving miles, the cost is just not worth it. My first reason is that i know ranchers and industrial shops that like to buy used diesel trucks, and can get them for good prices because the original owner absorbed most of the initial cost. Believe KBB and Edmund's if you want, this is my experience.

    Secondly, longevity is not as big an advantage over gas motors. Do you realize the advances in engineering the past 6 or 7 years. Todays gas engines, Chevy, Ford, Dodge, all are very solid built motors. I know a friend who did moderate towing, mostly driving with a 302 Ford, and got 300,000 miles before he rebuilt. I know several people who drive Chevy 350's into the 200-300K mile range. Gas technology has gasoline trucks getting 15-20 mpg. Mine is a Chevy 350, I get 18 highway. My dad drives a crew cab with 454 that gets 14. If it's power you want, the Dodge and Ford V10 won't get that good, but why do you have an engine that big unless you are pulling?

    With gasoline mileages as high as they are now, i don't see longevity being a big enough factor to fork over an extra $3000. I love diesels too, maybe i'm just a tight wad. anyway, just wanted to put in a different opinion. I hope everyone enjoys there truck whatever they have.

This discussion has been closed.